Today’s Rants

Olive Garden Restaurant
4749 Ashford Dunwoody Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30338

Dear Manager,
I still have a bad taste in my mouth after eating at your restaurant last night. My food was okay…mediocre I suppose…but that is what I’ve come to expect from Olive Garden. It was a lame idea for your big-wigs to make the soup and salad “special” $9, because that’s about all I really enjoy at your establishment and more than a lot of your menu items that INCLUDE soup, salad, and breadsticks. Kinda like when you charge $3 for a little 1.5 ounce ramekin of marinara to dip your breadsticks, but you never say it’s an additional cost. But what I’m frustrated about today is how I was treated when I contested my bill last night. My daughter was in the mood for shrimp and I asked the server if any of the kids meals could have shrimp. He said “For you little girl, of course!” and he put in the order for the pasty little bowl of fettuccine alfredo. The shrimp was good, but I was appalled that the $4 pasta kids meal turned into a $9 kids meal with the addition of the shrimp. Really? $4.95 for 3 pieces of shrimp? Ridiculous. Even worse, the server insinuated that he was giving us a freebie, and then did the bait-n-switch to make her gross pasta bowl more expensive than my mediocre mezzaluna pasta. I talked to my server, and he said he’d have the manager take care of it. The manager came over, and said “as a courtesy” he knocked the price down to $2.95 for the shrimp…but he warned us that NEXT TIME we’d be charged full price. Next time? NEXT TIME? No, there will be no next time. I’m done with Olive Garden.



Dear City of La Verne, CA,

I am again contesting the parking ticket issued to my rental car on November 1, 2008 at 6:01 am. The infraction was for parking in a driveway and blocking the sidewalk. As you know, the city ordinance is that no parking is allowed on the street at night to allow a semi-monthly streetsweeper right-of-way. After my Halloween festivities, I parked my car behind my in-laws van, and went to sleep. They had used a large fire portable firepit in the driveway for keeping the trick-or-treaters warm as they hollered for their candy. Because of this burning hot firepit, it could not be moved to the backyard, and the van was parked as close to the pit as safe. I in turn parked the car right behind the van, but the bumper of the car was hanging over the last slab of driveway about 4 inches. The sidewalk right-of-way was slightly hindered, but completely accessible by bike, pedestrian, or wheelchair. Yes, I know my in-laws neighbors hate them, and call the police department and child protective services 2-5 times per month to spite them (and also turn the sprinklers on all the kids for trying to trick-or-treat at their door) But it was obviously them who tipped you off that one minute after the street was available to park on, a ticket was placed on my $14/day Jetta.

I paid the $25 ticket online, expeditiously to avoid a late fee, but also turned in an appeal. The appeal was never answered, which didn’t surprise me. But today in the mail I received a late notice for $115. I ALREADY PAID THE TICKET AND HAVE THE EMAIL CONFIRMATION! But you have no record. I have to fax a copy of the ticket, my bank statement, and the email receipt. Unfortunately, the ticket and bank statement is in a box in transit between Michigan and Georgia. And if I don’t pay the ticket again by Monday, it’s another $25 late fee tacked on.

For a city I love so much, I’m not so happy about you La Verne.



Dear Taylor,
I love you so much, and I’m so appreciative that you have worked so hard this week to pack up the rest of our life in Michigan. We will likely never experience the crazy cold temperatures that we did in Detroit. However, please stop teasing me for being cold. It’s 38 degrees out here in Atlanta, and I’m in the house shivering in my parka because it’s so cold. Rosie’s wrapped up in a blanket next to me. You tease me for wanting to turn on the heater. But you have your coat on and are complaining about it being too hot. Can’t you just take of your coat and long sleeve shirt, and let us turn on the heat so we stop shivering?


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